If you use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to engage with customers and promote your business, you know that social media marketing is a little more involved than simply uploading a profile picture and posting updates every few weeks. Social media users expect the brands they like to maintain an active social presence, and yours is no exception.

Luckily, managing your social accounts doesn’t need to be a full-time job. And although many companies with active followings on multiple platforms choose to hire agencies to maintain their accounts, it’s entirely possible for you to do so with a few hours each week.

Over the past few years, social media has evolved from a fun way to share cat photos and keep in touch with high school friends to an indispensable part of our daily lives. And if you’re responsible for marketing a business, it’s also become an invaluable tool.

Businesses across virtually every industry, both B2C and B2B, use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to grow their brand awareness and reach new customers. However, for companies with limited time and resources for marketing, social media is often put on the backburner.

Unfortunately, these businesses are often the ones that have the most to gain from a strong social presence. Keep reading to learn five ways social media marketing can help your small business grow.

If you’re responsible for marketing a business, you know that social media is one of your most powerful tools. It allows you to connect with customers, provide them with information about your company, and build relationships that can have a direct impact on sales, customer retention, and brand reputation – all of which are extremely important to your success.

But as social media continues to evolve, the ways you use it for marketing need to change too – and that can be a lot easier said than done when the Internet seems to change in the blink of an eye. How can you be expected to keep up?

The best way is to watch industry publications, but even that can seem like a lot if social media is only a small part of your job responsibilities. If that’s the case, this post can help get you up to speed – and while I won’t claim that it has everything you need, I’ve included some of the more surprising statistics over the past year that can help inform your marketing decisions.

So – you set up accounts for your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and maybe even Instagram. You told your family and friends to follow you, and started posting updates about products, specials, and events. But is anyone paying attention?

Now that social media is becoming increasingly saturated with ad content, your followers won’t pay attention unless you give them a good reason. That’s where strong user engagement becomes important. Make your profiles and pages into spaces for two-way conversation, and your followers will be more likely to stay interested.

That being said, I know that creating engaging content is easier said than done. Here are a few tips – as well as examples of companies who excel at interacting with their followers – to help you get started.

If you’re a business owner or marketing professional, you hopefully understand the importance of having a social media presence. Profiles and accounts on Facebook and Twitter can assist in your branding, engagement, and ecommerce efforts, along with many other objectives.

But without the right analytics, you may be left wondering, “How much do my social media efforts help my business?”, or “How can I track my social media performance?” These are very common but important questions.

In today’s day and age, it’s possible to know exactly what is working and how much benefit is provided – as long as you have the right tools. Fortunately, with Google Analytics, this information is readily available.

Over the past few years, businesses of all sizes have flocked to social media in the hopes of reaching and interacting with more customers. And while social media marketing can certainly be effective, it only works if you use the same platforms as your target audience.

Most demographics are fairly easy to reach, but there is one group whose preferences change more often than most: Teenagers. This notoriously hard-to-reach demographic tends to be social media savvy, meaning that they are typically the first to try new platforms – and the first to leave old ones.

Although keeping up with them may seem like a challenge, the truth is that teenagers are often ahead of the curve on social trends. The rest of your audience will likely be using the same platforms in a year or two, so it’s worth your time to see what they’re using.

We surveyed teenagers between the ages of 13 and 19, and here’s what we found: